Sunday, July 22, 2018

Room of the Day

It is always a great gift to get up in the morning and have ONE room neat, clean and organized. This is a spare room, although not always so spare, and usuallly occupied!  I took pictures of things in it because I acquired them all BEFORE Hobby Lobby started replicating them, and I got many of these things 40 or more years ago, and before they were mine, they were already quite old!  
Above: this neat little knob came from one of the first Walmarts back in the 1970's, and I used it to hang a clothes hanger with the next day's outfit, like laying out your clothes for the next day. It is lightweight metal. I've seen these lately at HL but they are very heavy cast iron or plaster. I wish I had got two of these. They were under $5.00 at the time!

Over the years when I have grown tired with it all, I have attempted selling some of these things in yard sales, but no takers, because the clientele  was not sophisticated enough! (smile) They didn't see a future trend!

I have this old rack, and have painted it several times.  My next color will be mint green. The reason I do not have anything in it, is because I dont want something else to dust or clean (like plates). Towels might look good in it.

Do you remember back in the 70's when Target stores first began selling home interior type things? That is where I got this cottage picture, and it was in a pink wood frame.  I have reflected the picture with the cottage teapot Mr. S. got for me at a thrift store. He likes to go in Goodwill and used goods places for unused office supplies, of which there are plenty. When the computers came along, offices discarded file holders, unopened packs of paper, envelopes, etc. and now he has them. All of them, I think.  And we laugh about it but he is the one that has it when we need it!

Above: hand sewn dyed cotton curtain, tied with ribbon and pinched back with clothespins.

The bed came from Mr. S. Parents house, but they bought it already used. It's a platform style with the Beauty rest mattress, well preserved.

I need to get some more pictures of this room. It has some things in it from 19__ (ahem). 

You may have observed the almost monochromatic color scheme in this room. It is a very small room and I discovered the one color makes the room seem larger.

It is painting season here, indoors and outdoors, and that is why I have not sewn very much. However, today, I hope to be doing that if I can resist the temptation to spray paint something. It is hard to ignore the outdoors and settle down in the sewing room, but I have worn out everything and it is time to begin again with a new wardrobe. I am very good at finding locations to model a home sewn dress, but not very good at getting the project finished during the season when it would look the best.

Someone asked me to share my house keeping routine so I will try to share that sometime. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

How Not to Always Live "on the Edge"

Are you always rushing because you are not prepared for anything ahead of time? Do you almost faint every time there is a disappointment or bad news? In a panic, in a mess, rushing around, playing catch-up in your own home?

The best thing to do is pray for every step you take, and be sure to include the names of everyone in your family.

When you have children in the home, make a deliberate effort to pray aloud with them, and include their names in the prayers, asking God to bless and guide them, and to provide for all of you. If your children are not home, pray unceasingly for them, by name, by individual needs Then thank God for his care thus far, and include all the little things. It makes you notice it more.

 Mr. S. asked me to say:

Let God speak to you through His written Word, by reading it and thinking about it.
Speak to Him through prayer. Then, put feet to your faith by working and trying to achieve your duty and responsibility,  using tools like the calendar and your clock so that you don't miss your appointments. Learn how to make a list that counts backwards from your goal.  Looking for ways to organize a list according to importance, and how to get all the little things done is part of learning.

When you pray:
Praise God for something.
Ask God for something.
Thank God for something

Gradually, as you form the habit of praying, you will notice less panic, less unpreparedness. When you think of something that could happen, you will remember that you prayed about it, and it will ease that feeling of panic.

Praying for some accomplishment opens your eyes to God's guidance for solutions.

Praying can renew your mind and lift you out of confusion and foggy thinking.

You will find also that you become purer in heart and in mind, and are not tempted to worry, fear, over-spend for relief, or indulge in the wordliness to cover up grief, loss, and uncertainty. Let that praying be your first response, your habit, your "addiction" and your pasttime.''

You might find that you are more clear-minded, and that clarity will lead to finding solutions to quite a few things.

We can be grateful that we are still living and able to serve Him in our daily lives at home. Let us pray our homes and families can glorify Him and His creation.

I have recently begun to put my house on a diet, to make it weigh less!  I've prayed a lot about the mess I am in from approximately 20 years of homeschool and 46 years of marriage. I have neglected the house while I took care of a lot of other people --- grandparents, parents,  friends in need of help and respite, etc.  Now I am trying to lighten the load. I'm pretending I am on a ship, and everything has to be balance, and I have to sort out things so I can find that book I need, etc. The lighter the load gets, the less the stress and the happier my mind gets and the closer I come to doing more of what I really like to do, such as sewing and other things.

So I hope you too will pray about all the things that are bothering you and that you will then fill up the worry time with something good!

Naturally I want the utmost protection and care for my family, first.  And I also want to provide a home that will enable me to give them shelter and some pampering too.

Philippians 4:6

"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

In my next post I will answer a question about my house routine. Im not sure you will be glad to know it!  However, when I feel good and when  I have time, I do have a routine!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hay Cities

Today while several ladies sipped tea and had lunch together, I asked them to look out the window and see the hay cities and hay high-rises.

This landscape is never the same. Some times it is a beautiful green meadow and other times it has hay castles on it.  

It was a nice view from our tea table.

I especially liked this apartment building with the Queen Anne's Lace growing tall in front of it.

For tea we had scones with homemade strawberry jam, and chicken-basil sandwiches. The basil was from the garden and what a fragrance! I put some of it on the table, with the rosemary.

Here is some more of that Queen Anne's Lace.  I happen to have a piece of fabric with a Queen Anne's Lace print,  teamed up with a pattern. I hope this year I will make it before the matching flowers are gone.

The ladies think water tastes better when served from a glass pitcher:

We were all still looking at the construction outside the window. Does not the Queen Anne's Lace look exquisite?

We were all discussing what a privilege is is to enjoy these scenes, and have tea together,  and know that others in past times have done the same!

I do not know if you can see the other stacks of hay in the distance.

I am tempted to put yet another picture of my pretty gate, but after taking 10 pictures of it I was afraid someone might think I was being proud of a new pet.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mid Summer

 While I usually think of Harvest as being well into the autumn, around here it is in the middle of the summer.  Today the harvesters built a castle for our view.
 This morning I awoke to this scene of a tractor fleet (they all match), but no signs of people anywhere. It was an unusual sight, seeing that most of the tractors were already loaded with hay bales.

I was told that these are old maple trees on the lawn. They aren't the kind that produce the famous syrup.

I have been keeping water on the lawn all day. Actually in most places out here the water is free, but it is the electric pump in the well-house that costs the money. The fire department recommends keeping the area around the house green. I see a couple of dry patches in the photo so I will be busy setting the sprinklers in the right spots today. SInce we do not have the expense of a vacation in summer, the watering of the grass is our special treat. It makes us feel we are living in a resort!

My gate is so flimsy and light-weight I can carry it with one hand and plop it in a new location. The view of the farmers at work through the garden gate makes the gate look pretty good ;-)

While working on a post about how to avoid "rashness" or being rash, I gave up. I thought it sounded too rash. But, I might divulge some of it. I need to think about it a little longer, first. That's the first rule about avoiding rashness.

The lightweight gate reminds me of the people taunting the builders in Nehemiah: "A little fox can break that weak wall down."  If a squirrel runs over the gate, I'm certain the whole thing will fall over. But it was worth the spray paint to get a pretty thing in the yard. And, as I said in the previous post, Mr. S. enjoyed finding all his little repair things to put it together. 

I hope you all are enjoying your garden area this year.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Through the Garden Gate

Today I am sharing a garden gate that I found. The spray paint was the main expense, and Mr. S. had to find his box of "supplies"* to help me get it to balance and stay together. He just happened to have  old metal things that served to anchor the gate into the ground, which can be removed when we mow. We tried to fix the latch but not many things stick to wrought iron, so in the end I painted two clothespins white for closing the gate. 

I had that old plastic wreath in the donation box to take to Goodwill, and I got it out again for this picture.

I thought the grandchildren would enjoy opening the gate and walking through it and closing it again. They like to play that they are visiting. Isn't that funny? Because they are! But that is our special humor around here. 

You can't see it very well here, as it is only small when viewed from a distance. Perhaps tomorrow I can get a better picture and post it here. 

I hate to tell you what my next project is, while the weather is dry outside, because you probably would not want me to do it. However I figured out how to manage it without a chair or a ladder or a step stool.

I am getting a little more organized and have managed in all the chaos to at least keep the room clean that is nearest the front door. I'm glad it was all neat and tidy because yesterday a realtor came by the house to let us know the property next to ours was for sale and he wanted to give us first chance to buy it before he put it on the market. Ha! That's funny too! We must look like we are rich!  And wouldn't I love to buy it!  I would have to sell all my wrought iron garden decor, and more! I hope someone buys the house next door, who likes it out here, and doesn't broadcast too much noise.

*I am sure you were waiting to find out about the repair supplies Mr. S. always has on hand. Over the years the children, grandchildren and grownups have made fun of his collection, but he was always there for us with something when we needed it. We never had to buy string, duct tape, miniature bungee chords, wire twist ties, old metal, nails, and I can't recall what else. Mr. S. had them. 

Today we have being working on the yard and trying to beat back the wilderness. If we did not do anything, the trees and grass and vines would take over! Mr. S. put on a thick pair of gloves and trimmed the holly trees.

  We had a dramatic sunset at the end of the day and I felt like we were away on holiday. 

For those who asked, my front door view is west. My kitchen is east.  If I were to have a house built, I would situate it at an angle so that the sun does not come directly in to either room at such a strength as it does when it faces directly west and east.

We are entering a season of noisy nights, as the harvesting equipment will be going all night long. Farming areas are interesting because the land is so flat that a tractor can be driven in the dark and never run into anything. They do have lights, though.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hollyhocks and Morning Moments Outside

The Hollyhocks were out today just in time for a morning picture. I quickly gathered everything I could and created a scene to go with those majestic stalks!

I hope you are having a wonderful day at home!

Mr. S. enjoys evenings on the tractor, keeping the place mowed.  I think he likes it because there is no other traffic and no wrong side of the road.... and no Mrs. S. gasping and putting her hand over her eyes as he makes those sharp turns.

Early Tea

The best tea in summer is at 6:30 A.M. outside!

There will be more pictures later when  there are not so many shadows dancing around.

I have a post coming up something about being careful not to be rash!  Think about what you want to do before jumping in to any plan or belief,. Sometimes even when we think we are an independent and autonomous unit as individuals or families, we let other ideas into our lives that can cause conflict.

If  you are in the southern hemisphere having winter, remember to get everything in  order in your house so you can free up time to enjoy the outdoors when summer comes.  The last couple of winters I'm sorry to say I spent too much time waiting for it to be over and not sorting through things that I need to, or cleaning things that need it. It so happened that each time summer came, I was catching up on all those things and could not take much time off for summer leisure.  My goal is to be "company ready" and I am not there yet! In the meantime, I'm enjoying moving the sprinkler around trying to get everything lush and green around here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Video on Being Emotionally Stable at Home

Portrait of a Young Woman by Erich Ernst Heilmann (German, b. 1924 - d. -?)

Today in my video I made an error when I quoted something from 1st Corinthians 14. It is in Ist Corinthians 12 that the statement was made about "being carried away."  I address this in the video and suggest we do things according to reason and knowledge of the scriptures rather than latch on to ideas and lifestyle changes because we see an interesting trend going on.

I saw a lot of things I would have liked to change in the video but I am not editing anything yet and it has to stand, as is. One thing I will add, is a quote in Jane Austen's "Emma":

You take up an idea and run away with it!

Also my grammar was really slipping in this speech, so its not any surprise  you think  English is my second tongue) but I do not have time for "take 2" and 3 and 4, etc. so I have made up my mind just to do better next time.  

There are other things to consider in this video that aid in stabilizing the mind: organization, neatness, drinking water throughout the day, and keeping yourself going to your goal, without letting others de-rail you.

I want to know what you think, so please leave comments!

Increasing Your Passive Income

19th Century Painting by Hugh Goldwin Riviere

Hello Ladies,

I had hoped to have another video by now but I am not able to make a decision about what subjects I should cover.  Today the subject on my mind is income: passive and active.

I once tried to explain this to someone who was desperately wanting to know how my husband could support me at home.  In order to give me a final shock, she said, "SOME of us have to work, because we don't believe a man is a financial plan."  I looked this up and found it was part of a (religious in fact) seminar for women to help them learn to save and invest).  I did respond that if the saying were true, she should refuse the inheritance left to her by her grandfather and father, and also anything she got from her husband during her divorce, and she told me she got quite a bit from his retirement and other things. The point I tried to make is that we ladies don't think any one source is a financial plan. There are many sources that people just do not see.

I read somewhere years ago that you have to maintain two kinds of finances: one is passive income, and one is active income.  The active income is obviously the money you get for labor each week or pay day, or anything you sell.  Most of our husbands bring home an income, which is used to run the home and provide for the family, and some ladies have other sources of income, whether it be a little shop online or at home, or something else.

  The passive income is a little harder to describe. It is that house you are living in, if you own it, or the little you have stashed away that is gaining any kind of interest, or the things in your home with value that you could liquidate  if you needed cash. Passive income is something quieter and less visible but is a great backup plan.

One definition of passive income is "money you are not exchanging your labor for," or income created in other ways.

(I am sorry I did not find the artist for this painting)

  Having a wholesome family life with members who learn not to be a burden and do not always need rescuing from bad decisions (bad decisions, inadvisable friendships and other things that cost you money out of pocket to correct.) IF you can explain in an understandable way how much more money you can gift to your children if they live close to home and develop a healthy respect for money earned, as well as so-called "passive" income, you may get more cooperation.  One example may be to point out something in the house and say that it has re-sale value if preserved. Or, explain why you do your own repairs, and show how it prevents money going out.

I am not claiming to have done all this, but I'm still learning and trying to see how to manage on a limited amount of money. and am sharing some ideas with you.

 We have all known of those who were extremely poor in cash, with little  in material comforts, who eventually prospered, because their cash was not going "out" all the time to correct all the problems caused by poor judgment, or other things. In a way I think this could also be called your "passive income" because it is a type of prosperity that works quietly over the years, keeping you from having to spend anything to correct something.

Still another source of income I have observed is the use of your mind and your hands to work in the home. If you can do it yourself, you will not have any cash going out. Painting and repairing things these days is relatively easy. There are now instructions online on video and elsewhere for replacing elements and pieces in the water heater, the washer, dryer, the stove and fridge. If I  had that information years earlier we would not have gone through so many appliances and had a lot larger savings.

Perhaps never stated in any financial advice, is the way we handle our emotions and how it can affect our active and passive income. Unhappy or troubled people spend more money to compensate themselves or relieve the pressures of life.

Someone told me they had watched a Hallmark series called "Aurora Teagarden Mysteries" and in it, the Mother of the young lady who had a mystery club, said, "We Teagarden ladies do not have 'melt-downs'. Instead, we figure out what the problem is, then roll up our sleeves and go to work to solve it."

Emotional meltdowns in the face of problems will cost us something, because as we spend hours in what I call a "state of stun" trying to focus on our responsibilities and purpose,  and while troubling thoughts whirl around in our minds, we lose a lot of time and do not know which end is up, are unable to focus on meal preparation (or whatever is needed) and have to go to the deli to fetch dinner, which as you know, is expensive. Emotional upheaval can also affect our ability to drive, and we may find ourselves somewhere else!  I'm not implying you cannot ever eat out, but I'm making a point about how your mind can be a source of income or loss of income if you are careful about your guarding your thoughts.
Now, as to what to do about the emotional attacks of other people when you are accused, criticised or demeaned for anything, of of the most successful tactics for ladies like me is to work it out of your head by organizing your button stash (if you are a sewist), cleaning the spice cabinet, sweeping the front porch, or washing your hair. The principle is, I suppose, is, when you feel you have been stabbed in the back or in the heart or had your mind messed with, use it as a signal to succeed at something, and rise far and away above anything you've ever done, even if it is just being happy.

If Mother was upset, she often went outside to a quite place, had a good cry (or scream) and then washed her hair.  And, this was quite a process. You had to go outside and pour the water over your hair, shampoo it with a bar of soap, then pour more water over it for a rinse, then use vinegar for a final rinse. If you will notice in some of the period dramas, sisters would help each other by pouring water over their hair.

After that, your wrapped your hair in a towel and walked around for awhile feeling like an important sultan with a head dress, and then when the dripping water was sufficiently soaked, you'd remove the towel and wrap strands of hair in strips of cotton fabric, used as rollers

By this time, those troubling thoughts and anxieties were transferred to the job at hand. When the hair was dry, there was the activity of untying those rags and brushing the curls so they would blend together, and then fastening up the hair in a style. In those days we also had a type of setting lotion made of boiled sugar or salt, and water.  It could also be made into a hair spray.

I do not think washing your hair in the shower has quite the same effect on the emotions as washing it outside using collected rainwater did. Note: we did not do this outside in the winter, but used the same procedure over a basin.

There have been many posts written by other ladies showing how getting your appearance in order, dressing, etc. can make you feel more fit for the problems ahead. 

Any thing could be used, such as mixing up a batch of bread, or something in the kitchen, starting a sewing project, or paper crafting, or whatever absorbs you the most, and it can also be a source of active income. The point is, meltdowns don't produce anything. At first you may cry but after that, you have to occupy yourself some way that has good results. Even if you are reading a book, it is better for your emotions (if you can actually concentrate on reading after any kind of emotional upheaval).

There is one other thing that can end up costing you something: listening to those who say: "That is a lovely dress you made. You could make these and sell them!"  I'm sure many ladies have exhausted themselves doing this, and then find they lose interest when it comes to making clothes for their own families. Time is very valuable and it doesn't last forever, so you have to guard it carefully.  I remember one time I made about hundred little craft items to sell and when they did not all sell, I had to donate some and use some as gifts. In the meantime I was neglecting things in the house and most of all I could have been making things for my own children and I should have kept the money spent on the project, for them.

In all things, remember to petition the Lord and ask for His stability in your life.

 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  

Philippians 4:6-7

The point I wish to make (in case I clouded it with all the words ;-)) is that we have to make sure we don't let emotionally debilitating statements ruin us by getting us away from our short term and long term plans, dreams and goals. This in my opinion can be a source of passive income, in that it will work for you quietly and increase later in other ways. Emotions have to be under "good regulation" as the old saying goes.

I am interested in what you all think about this concept, so please leave comments.


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